If I Could Buy Only One – Jan 19th, 2019 VINTAGES Release

For the Jan 19th VINTAGES release, we asked: “If you could buy only one wine from this release – which one would it be and why?”

David Lawrason: There are some regions I would never want to be without in my personal stash for anytime drinking – as long the examples are classic and delicious. One of course is pinot noir from just about anywhere. Another is Tuscan red. And another is southern Rhone. The Xavier Vignon Lirac 2016, Rhone Valley, France ($22.95) would be a shoe-in by the case –  a well made grenache-based blend from a seldom seen right bank appellation more famous for its roses. There is a solid underpinning without it being austere or too tannic. It has a pretty, plummy nose with well-placed florals, spice and anise. The length is excellent. Rivals Chateaunneuf-du-Pape, if with a more firm structure. Tasted Jan 2019

Xavier Vignon Lirac 2016

John Szabo: It seems there’s still a lingering, prevailing belief that whites wines are necessarily less complex than red wines, and thus ultimately inferior. It’s of course nonsense. Red wines often have that extra dimension of tannins, but top whites can be just as, if not more complex and age worthy, than many reds. A case in point is the Mullineux 2017 Old Vines White WO Swartland ($37.95), which leaves little to be desired. The low-yielding, drought-stressed, dry farmed vines of the Swartland produce thick-skinned berries and little juice, resulting in wines of considerable structure and depth. And Mullineux’s generally excellent old vine cuvée delivers again in 2017. Look for the sanguine and ferrous mix of non-fruit flavours on the palate, as complex and site-driven as any. I’d give it another 2-3 years minimum to come into full form. Best 2021-2027.

Mullineux Old Vines White 2017

Michael Godel: The fruit density of the Gabarda Selección 2015, Do Cariñena Spain ($19.95) climbs into structure and so this cariñena/garnacha joint is part impressive and part formidable. It’s one of the larger and more ambitious regional examples you are likely to find. The wood effect is heady and sheathing while the windswept clay/limestone soil origins are always a tough nut to crack. With air or time this will settle in and act as a great foil to Zaragoza-Aragonese inspired cuisine, like migas or Loganiza de Graus sausage filled with black trumpet mushrooms, as just two examples, for years to come.

Gabarda Selección 2015

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Lawrason’s Take
Szabo’s Smart Buys
Michael’s Mix

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